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The Importance of Holidays for Business Owners: Stress Testing Your Business with a Sabbatical

21 June 2023
Mark Friend
People, Structuring a Business, Selling a Business, Building a Business

Having been in business now for over 30 years I know first-hand the real issues about taking time away from work.

In many respects you feel you just can’t take time off because of the never-ending needs of your customers.

Can you trust your team to service your customers as well as you do?

Will your customers be there when you get back?

The reality is that running a business can be demanding and all-consuming, often leaving business owners with little time for themselves.

However, taking regular holidays and occasionally opting for a longer sabbatical is not only beneficial for personal well-being but also for the success and growth of your business.

Why I took a Sabbatical.

Over a year ago, after reading EOS life by Gino Wickman a renowned business expert (a book I highly recommend),  I  took the decision to take a six week sabbatical to stress test my business and spent a greater part of this on holiday in Japan.

An extraordinary country and a trip of a lifetime.

There is so much more I can write about Japan but this is about holidays and the ultimate holiday- a sabbatical.

In this blog, I will explore the significance of holidays for business owners and delve into the advantages of a longer break, drawing insights from the work of Gino Wickman.

Rejuvenation and Renewal

Taking regular holidays allows business owners to rejuvenate and recharge their energy levels.

It provides an opportunity to step away from the day-to-day operations and find time for personal relaxation and reflection.

Gino Wickman emphasizes the importance of self-care and stress management for entrepreneurs.

By disconnecting from work and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfilment, business owners can return with renewed focus, creativity, and motivation.

Gaining Fresh Perspectives

A holiday offers a chance to gain fresh perspectives by stepping outside the confines of the business environment.

Travelling, exploring different cultures and meeting new people can broaden your horizons, spark inspiration and stimulate innovative thinking.

Exposure to diverse experiences can help you approach challenges with a renewed mindset, leading to breakthrough ideas and improved decision-making upon your return.

Empowering Your Team

A longer holiday, such as a sabbatical, allows business owners to stress test their business by empowering their team members to take on additional responsibilities and make independent decisions.

Gino Wickman emphasizes the importance of building a strong leadership team and fostering a culture of trust and accountability.

By delegating authority and encouraging employee growth, business owners can identify potential leaders, uncover operational inefficiencies, and refine processes during their absence.

Identifying Operational Gaps

Stepping away from the day-to-day operations of your business can reveal operational gaps and areas for improvement.

When you remove yourself from the equation, it becomes apparent which processes rely too heavily on your involvement and where the team needs additional support or training.

Gino Wickman’s work on organizational management emphasizes the significance of building scalable systems and reducing dependency on individual leaders.

A sabbatical acts as a stress test that exposes vulnerabilities and highlights areas for growth and optimisation.

Evaluating Business Sustainability

A longer holiday, such as a sabbatical, provides an opportunity to evaluate the sustainability of your business.

It allows you to assess whether your business can function effectively in your absence, providing valuable insights into the overall health and resilience of the organisation.

By stress testing your business through a sabbatical, you can identify weak points, make necessary adjustments, and develop contingency plans to ensure its long-term success and stability.

A holiday or a sabbatical for a business owner

As a business owner, taking holidays and occasionally opting for a longer sabbatical is not a luxury but a strategic investment in your personal well-being and the growth of your business.

What was the result of my sabbatical?

Well I can definitely say I was well rested on my return!!!

The good news was the business is still here and to be honest, whilst my team said it was a little strange me not being there, decisions had to be made and my management team stepped up and made those decisions.

On my return there was little in the way of backlog.

There were a couple of areas I still need to work on in the business but overall the sabbatical was a success.

I now need to start thinking about another extended break next year!!!

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